Watercooling my MakerGear Prusa RepRap
Delta RepRap using both belts and Spectra fishing line

A few months back, I gave a hand to Layla

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Literally. http://bit.ly/hotpinkcyborgbeast

I worked with a couple other volunteers in the evenings for a few months to create a website where people can go to easily create prosthetic hands for kids. Like Layla. This website tool has been called the Hand-O-Matic. Layla's hand was the very first hand to come from this website. http://bit.ly/handomatic Welcome to the future. A future of 3D printers and where 2 measurements and half a dozen clicks and a custom prosthetic hand is created.

Time to finish this quest. 

I have given Layla a hand in the literal sense, I have given Layla a hand in the virtual sense by making it easy for her to get the ready-to-print files to make more hands as she grows. Now I am giving Layla a hand by helping her get her own 3D printer.

And I need your help.

November 8th, Layla's real-world community is getting together to finish what a virtual, on-line community started.

We are hosting a fund-raiser benefit to get Layla a 3D printer of her very own. We are going to get a computer that she can use easily with her 1 good hand. We are going to get her the supplies she needs to put new prosthetic hands together. And then this real, local, community is going to give the larger, virtual community a hand as everything above and beyond Layla's needs will be donated to http://enablingthefuture.org/ so we will give other kids a hand – Literally.

So come. Learn about the future. There will be 3d printers there that you can touch and ask questions about. Come, and be a part of a girls future and donate a few bucks – enter the raffle, bid on something in the silent auction.

Come and Give a Hand to Layla.

In album 2014-11-04

Layla’s hand

Give a hand to Layla

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Outside the office this morning

A bit of snow.

In album 2014-11-25

Berries and Leaves covered by snow.

I don’t know what this tree is. I know the ones behind this one are Saskatoons, or service berries and are delicious.

It’s amazing how ‘still’ leaves aren’t.

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I tried braiding my eldest daughter's hair

She was sitting beside me, so the braid runs the 'wrong' way which I think looks pretty interesting. Also, I didn't have a rubber band for the end, so I back-spliced the end.

I was surprised how well this worked. I did a sloppy job of it, and it still held for a while. I think I will need to practice my rope back-splicing on her hair some more.

In album 2014-11-24

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My 4 year old has recently become obsessed with 'invisible' Dora Charm bracelets….

My 4 year old has recently become obsessed with 'invisible' Dora Charm bracelets. She is the easily frustrated sort, so I didn't think a charm bracelet kit rated 2 years over her age was a good idea.She is good at knots, just not at good knots.  So I bought a 1lb bead assortment and pipe cleaners.

I figured the pipe cleaners would hold the beads during assembly and knots are easy – just a twist away. The pipe cleaners are also easier to thread then a string.

She has made at least a dozen bracelets in the last day. I think it was a hit!

In album 2014-10-10

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I rebuilt the extruder on my Delta #RepRap again

I rebuilt the extruder on my Delta #RepRap again. Trying different things to find something that works for me. This is a cable-laced short bowden tube with no 'real' connectors. Quick and dirty, but it seems to be working well so far.

In album Repaired stubby bowden tube

The cable lacing is where the hold-it-all-together should happen. This is with Spectra fishing line. Same as I used for the drive-line. Low stretch. Should keep the two halves from being pushed apart.

Boom! Wonderful printing all of a sudden.

Installed. The idea is to balance the weight of the motor over the effector so the printer doesn’t have to sling all that weight around.

I used some self vulcanizing rubber tape to try to get some traction on the tube. It should also stiffen up the joints a bit so there is less flex at either end and more in the middle.

This is the prior iteration. The nylon kept wanting to stretch so I kept twisting the extruder around to tighten up the cable lacing. 2.5 full turns here! The nylon also dug into the plastic a bit as well.

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I stood up at a wedding last weekend with my oldest daughter as the flower girl.

I stood up at a wedding last weekend with my oldest daughter as the flower girl.
I didn't take many photos, but here are a few of what I took.

In album Reed Wedding

The flower girl…

Bella getting her hair done up the night before so she will be the prettiest flower girl in the morning.

Hamming it up for the camera.

I think he needed to keep the flowers for the wedding…

A groomsmen and the groom decorating the gazebo.

Flower boy? Not sure if the flower petals improve the photo or not.

White shoes, the only bare patch of dirt for a quarter mile… of course she is going to walk through it!

Flower girl and ring bearer.

Really… it’s wrong. What’s wrong with the water?

May I interest you in a glass of water?

Happy bride…

Legos!

The bride

Tuckered out baby. Nap time!

Toss the Bouquet

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I got a mosquito hammock this week for $30 from woot

This is pretty cheap. After I ordered it, I realized how short it was – it's six inches shorter than the one I already have. Short hammocks and tall people make for an uncomfortable night's sleep. So I decided to try to cheat the length a bit. I converted it to a Mini bridge hammock. Some amsteel rope dogbones, a pair of spreader bars, and it's a non-damaging modification. I think it worked. I slept in it as it came, and after the modification and I like the mod. It's much more comfortable. Not perfect, I find my feet tend to rest against the netting.

Next project. Down underquilt.

In album Miniature Bridge Hammock modification

My girls hanging out in my new Yukon Outfitters Mosquito Hammock

It’s a clear tarp for me for the hammocks. Window winterizing film, duck tape & patience to make one.

This is how the hammock came. A rope (which stretches a lot the first night you use it) fed through the channel and closed on itself. Here, I’ve had to run it back up to the metal connector so tighten the hammock at 3 am so I wasn’t dragging on the ground anymore. Notice how tightly it bunches the end of the hammock up. The thin line is the stretch cord for holding up the bug net part of the hammock.

This is a miniature bridge hammock. The idea is to make the ends wider so it squeezes against the shoulders less. It is also supposed to reduce the tightness up the center under the legs that can cause discomfort.

I made 4 amsteel dogbones. These are just short ropes with eyes on both ends. I sized these so they are short as they can be and have the right length bury that nearly touches in the center.

Try to make all 4 the same length.

The amsteel dogbone is fed through the hole in the wood, fed through the hammock and  the loop slipped over the end of the wood. Do this from each side.

It’s easier to pull the new rope through as you are pulling the old rope out. (trust me  I know)

But it’s easier to untie if you put the old rope to the new, and not the new rope to the old. Oohps.

The hammock is clipped into the rope that it hangs from.

The offset in the carabiner can be used to advantage in counteracting any differences in the length of the amsteel dogbones.

This is with the original mounting method.

This is the girls swinging in the new method. Notice how the end of the hammock forms a gentile curve.

The hanging hardware that came with the hammock – both sides.

The new hanging hardware weighs 2 grams more. Now, this is a cheating weight, as it doesn’t include the carabiners.

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I made a new wallet last night

A coworker has had some pretty thin ones over the years, folded tyvek, and currently a big skinny brand one that's really nice. 

I've been wanting one of those stainless steel ones for a few years now, but they are much more money then I am willing to spend.

So I decided to make my own wallet. Out of garbage, of course. Well, I did buy the leather in a 3lb pack from Hobby Lobby, but the piece I used looks like it was cut for a vest maybe? The Tyvek is from a mailing envelope from 1997, the clear pocket is from a plastic cover from an old report. The RFID shielding is a motherboard static protection bag. I collect old junk just for projects such as this.

The design of this one is wider and taller then a bifold or trifold. It is a bifold wallet, but has 2 pockets per face. This means you only keep half the cards in a given thickness. There is also no extra pockets separating the cards, so no extra bulk for that either. Just stack the cards. 

I have the thinness of a tyvek wallet with the finish of a leather wallet. It can bend in the middle, contouring by butt better. I think I am really liking this so far.

The next one, I would sew the card pockets onto just 1 layer of the folded center piece rather then through both. This one give a nicer finish on the inside of the bill area. I would also cut the leather a bit bigger so I can roll the edges and sew through 2 layers of leather for a nicer edge finish. Also, mark on the BACK side of the Tyvek. I kept marking on the front side even though I know better!

I also like keeping fortune cookie fortunes in my wallet. So I may have some clear pockets just for my fortunes. I also carry SD cards, so I will have pockets for that as well.

In album Thin Wide RFID blocking Tyvek & Leather Wallet

It doesn’t look too much bigger this way, right?

My wallet is too fat. It’s slowly grown thicker in pace with my belly. Something has got to change. The wallet is the easier thing to make thinner.

An old Tyvek mailer envelope (From 1997!) a bit of scrap leather, my sewing machine, and about 3 hours….

No plans, just an idea, and a standard sized card to use as a template.

I used an old motherboard static bag for the RFID blocking layer. It’s sandwiched in the divider to deflect enough energy to keep the cards from activating and broadcasting. In theory. I don’t know if it works or not.

4 pockets, one of which is clear sewn onto the tyvek holding the static bag bit.

Trying to get the size of the leather right for the pockets.

Just a quick and dirty build. Trying to proof the concept and the sizes. I will probably make another one in a few months once I gauge how long this one will last.

Leather looks to be big enough to cover the inside pockets.

Binder clips. I don’t know how people did leather work before these things where invented. I love these things.

The leather is bigger then the liner, and needs an unsewn gap at the fold so it can open up correctly.

I sewed the leather on by hand with a glovers needle.

The wood block is for poking the needle down through the layers on so I don’t stab myself or the table. The pliers are to pull the needle through the rest of the way – it likes catching at the eye.

One side sewn up. Not very neat stitching, but it should hold it together.

I found it easier to sew with a card in each pocket. No wonder my wallet is so thick! I carry a metal plate for sharpening knives in it.

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I decided to 'fix' a blanket I got from freecycle

It is a military wool blanket. I love wool blankets for camping and hanging out outdoors. I don't much care for the olive green – even though green is my favorite color.
So I dyed one side of if grey. I couldn't find anybody else online (just a short search) that dyes a single side of a blanket. So I made it up as I went along. I'd picked up some Dharma Trading 'Twilight grey' and basically painted it on for lack of better description. 
Normally you soak whatever you want to dye, but that will get the whole thing. So I mixed up the dye, water, vinegar (a mordant, helps the acid dye work) and a bit later, soap, for better 'wetting' of the blanket.
I am really, really impressed with how it turned out.

In album Dye single side of wool blanket

The green is still green, the grey, is a dark forest green.

Something I’ve done with the grey blanket is made it more water resistant.

water beaded up in the center, soaked in on the lower right.

I’d treated the grey blanket last year with lanolin. The oil that naturally occurs in wool while the sheep are wearing it, It’s what keeps sheep dry in the rain. In one context it seems silly that it’s taken out, but the wool can’t be dyed with it still in the fibers. So I add it back, and make the blanket more water resistant.

I am dying my green wool blanket grey.

I am spraying the dye on. I am using a spray bottle rescued from the recycling. It works just as good as the ones that cost $3 – probably because it did cost $3, but full, not empty.

I mixed up the dye, vinegar, and water into a juice container rescued from the recycling, and poured it in a little at a time with the funnel. The second batch I added a bit of dish soap to ‘wet’ the wool. The dye spray was beading on the fibers, the soap helps it soak deeper into the fabric.

The light grey in the upper right is the dye as sprayed on. I worked it into the blanket surface so I got better contact with the fibers instead of the spray just sitting on top of the blanket.

I want a mildly dappled effect, so I heavily dappled the blanket with the dye. It spreads out, so the effect is much more subtle when dried.

I hope…

In order to set the dye, I microwaved the blanket while it was still damp. I misted the dye side with the dye right before folding it dye side together and rolling it up. Microwave the daylights out of it in couple minute bursts.  I took it out, and re-rolled it with what was on the inside on the outside so I get even steaming of the dye.

I re-folded the blanket and nuked it some more. It was probably cooking a dozen 2 minute bursts.

I stuck it into a kidde pool to wash. This is the moment of truth… did the dye bind to the wool or will it leach out?

The water just barely tinted, so the dye fixed to the wool! YAY!

Hanging to dry. The color is better than I expected. I really like the dappled effect, very subtle.

The still-damp blanket in the house. I really really like the dappled effect on the folded blanket.

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